Tag: The Independent

German interior minister rejects union’s six percent wage demand

German interior minister rejects union’s six percent wage demand

Thomson Reuters BERLIN (Reuters) – German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Saturday he would press for “reasonable results” in the next round of pay talks with more than two million public sector workers, but he rejected the Verdi union’s demand for a six percent increase.
Wage talks are due to resume on Sunday after 150,000 public sector employees staged warning strikes and walkouts last week that left thousands of passengers stranded at airports, and hit hospitals, childcare centres and waste depots.
Seehofer, the federal government’s top negotiator in the talks, underscored the importance of public sector workers and said it was “self-evident” that they should benefit from the country’s economic growth.
Verdi said 17,000 people participated in walkouts on Friday, bringing the total for the week’s labour actions to 150,000.
He said public sector workers should benefit from surging German tax revenues.
The federal government and municipalities have rejected the union’s demands, but the head of the VKA association of local employer organisations last week said he expected an agreement to emerge from the next round of talks.
Inflation edged up to 1.5 percent in March.
Falling unemployment, inflation-busting pay rises and low borrowing costs are fuelling a consumer-led upswing.
The European Central Bank (ECB) is keeping a close eye on the German pay talks for any sign that wage growth is picking up, potentially lifting inflation and giving the ECB added leeway to start winding down its massive stimulus programme.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Helen Popper)

Venezuela jacks up minimum wage for third time this year

Venezuela jacks up minimum wage for third time this year

Venezuela jacks up minimum wage for third time this year.
Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, told a packed auditorium on Sunday what sounded like good news: The minimum wage is going up 50%.
Inflation there could skyrocket 720% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.
It’s the third time this year Maduro’s government has hiked the country’s minimum wage to combat extremely high inflation and an increasingly worthless currency.
Prices for food, medicine and other essentials rise weekly if not daily.
That’s equivalent to $12.53, according to the unofficial but often used exchange rate of dolartoday.com.
Including Venezuela’s equivalent of food stamps, the total pay package now rises to 250,531 bolivars, or $32.19 a month.
At the time of Venezuela’s last wage hike in late April, the total package equaled $46.70.
On Tuesday, police officer Oscar Perez stole a government helicopter with a team of accomplices, flew over the Supreme Court, dropped grenades, fired shots and then flew around the country’s capital, Caracas, for about two hours.
Some Venezuelans clearly didn’t care about the week’s events on Sunday.